This traditional Swedish potato casserole is a must on every Christmas table, although frankly I’m fond of it at any other time of the year too. Paired with a crisp green salad to balance out the creaminess, it’s a comforting meal.
Encouraging plenty of the crispy charred bits on the top is a priority as far as I’m concerned, so I use a wide, shallow dish for the extra surface area.
If you want to keep it simple and classic, you can replace the beetroot and carrots with extra potato, but I love the pop of colour from this combination.
Jansson’s temptation / Janssons frestelse
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
A knob of butter, for greasing
3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
400ml (14fl oz) double cream
100ml (3½fl oz) whole milk
1 medium beetroot
125g tin of anchovies (Swedish, if possible, from Ocado or online), drained
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Grease a 25cm x 18cm baking dish with butter.
Put the potato slices into a large saucepan with the salt, pepper, cream and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the carrots and beetroot into thin strips or matchsticks. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Remove the potato slices from the milk mixture, keeping the mixture to one side until later.
Spread a layer of potato slices in the baking dish, followed by some onions, beetroot and carrots. Add another layer of potatoes, then half the tin of anchovies, followed by more onions, beetroot and carrots.
Add a third layer of potatoes and the remaining carrots, beetroot and onions. Add the rest of the anchovies, then pour the milk mixture over the top.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over and bake for 30 minutes (cover again if the topping browns too quickly).
Get ahead / You can bake this and freeze it. Reheat at 170°C /fan 150°C/gas 3, covered, for 50 minutes, then uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Originally featured in The Daily Mail.
Recipe from my latest cookbook The Little Swedish Kitchen. Order it on amazon now!
Image: David Loftus | Styling: Frankie Unsworth | Prop Styling: Linda Berlin